Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sewing under the influence- Anthropologie inspired dress

On Saturday night, to celebrate the end of our bad week, and the beginning of a new better one, the husband and I enjoyed a few glasses of wine. Possibly just one too many. Then he retreated to his man cave and me, to sewing world.

Earlier in the day, I was thinking about this Anthropologie dress, the Take Action Dress. I love this dress and began drafting a pattern, with my ever so advanced pattern making skills, to make one with some similar features.
I didn't think it looked too hard. It's a pull over dress with elastic running around the back waist, some shaping to the front and back panels to allow for the flat front and a few tucks at the centre front. I'm sure the actual Anthropologie dress has far more refined design and construction features, but this is what I worked on for my frock.

It's funny I Googled this dress to see more photos of the design and stumbled across a bunch blogs written by people who go into Anthropologie, try on dresses, take photos and review them - totally funny!! Look here and here for just two and there are many more. Being in Australia and not much of a fashionister, I didn't realise this chain had such a following.

Anyway, being hot and muggy in Sydney over the weekend, I knew I needed to modify the neck to a scoop, they always look better on me, and narrow the shoulders a little. So here it is - what do you think??
I had to crop my eyes out of this shot as I looked a little evil.

It's very bright. This fabric is more turquoise with yellow dots, than teal with yellow dots. I actually impulse purchased this fabric from Spotlight the week before last. You see I still haven't learnt any lessons about random fabric purchasing with no project in mind....It's a lovely, soft, light Japanese cotton, which the label said was a cotton satin. I think this is remarkably nice fabric for Spotlight and was told by the staff that it was to be the only shipment of this fabric. I also purchased a grape with pink dots version too, which I'm not sure what to do with yet.

Anyway, the dress is quite cute and I have already worn it to a kiddie birthday party over the weekend.
So, with my super pattern making skills, how did I build this dress ?? Well this is the pattern that I drew.
I took a neck line and arm shape from Simplicity 2586. I then curved the front bodice in, to create the flat front and the back bodice out to make up the difference.

I made muslin of this dress earlier in the day and in my alcohol induced state of silliness, decided not to re-muslin the many changes that I needed to make and just cut straight into my dotty fabric. Hindsight tells me, I probably shouldn't have done this. I probably could do with more ease around the waist and greater width on the shoulder straps.
I chose to bind the arms and neck with narrow finished binding, sewn under the garment, like on the Pendrell blouse. Unfortunately, I decided this while 'under the influence' and after cutting the frock, so didn't really leave enough seam allowance on the shoulder straps, which is why they are so narrow. Regardless, the frock is still sweet and good enough to wear.

So there you go. Lessons learnt from this dress:
  • try to make a second muslin when there are a number of changes to a pattern you've dodgily drafted yourself.
  • Try not to sew narrow finished binding on a frock after a few wines, it's a little wonky and my seam trimming may have snipped the binding itself in a few places. Thankfully no one can see that yet as it hasn't been washed and the thread matches quite well.
  • Sometimes, the best way to end a bad week is to do something you love - I felt so much better on Sunday!
Before I go, an update on the life situation: the Mother in law is back at home, though still unwell. The dog appears to be getting better and thankfully the vet cut us a deal for a flat rate fee (phew!) and my big 50% assignment was completed yesterday - hooray!! Better yet, it looks like I might manage to squeeze in a little 'me' time this morning before heading to uni - double hoooray!!!!!!!

This is a better week.


  1. Your dress is really pretty! That fabric was a great find. I think those anthro and J crew review blogs are hilarious too but I'm strangely addicted to them. I live in Canada and there are a few anthro's here but the closest is 8+ hours away and no J crews so they aren't places I usually shop at. I love looking at those blogs for sewing ideas though and my last top I made because I saw this post and made a copy of the lace top....


  2. Such a cute summery dress. The colour looks really good on you. Love the spots. We didn't get this fabric at our Spotlight - bummer!

  3. hey! I like the print you've got on the cabinet behind you. Nice one :)


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